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Republicans abused their power in vote to...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Republicans abused their power in vote to impeach 0) president

Listening to the speeches by various members of Congress, I came to a conclusion that Republicans have decided their constituents do not count.

A number of times, Republicans said, "despite popular opinion" or something similar. Because the Republicans are no longer functioning in the roles for which they were elected, to represent their constituents; they are acting against the interests of the American people.

Perhaps I am an idealist, but I always thought that the whole idea of a representative was to listen to the people and to bring the views of those people to Capitol Hill.

It seems to me that the Republicans have much in common with the plotting Roman senators in Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar."

It's not that they held impeachment hearings but that they blatantly abused their positions and power to impeach the president.

Republican accusations of Mr. Clinton's abuse of power to cover up a sexual affair ring hollow when I see Republicans in Congress abusing their power to rid themselves of a political enemy. The abuse of power is in a manner that befits a repressive dominant party in an authoritarian regime.

The Republican abuse lies not with the push to impeach, but with the steps they took to gain impeachment. It sullies their reputation with a blemish that no sex scandal could ever bring.

David Eddings

Randallstown

President should heed words to Chamberlain

Now that the House of Representatives has impeached President Clinton, he would do well to heed the advice that Leo Amery gave British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain on May 7, 1940:

"You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go."

Leon Reinstein

Baltimore

Quality of House debate too often was substandard

In many ways, the debate in the House of Representatives last week was both uplifting and discouraging. All citizens have the right to express their views passionately. Congress has the responsibility to do just that, but members are expected to be respectful of opposing opinions.

I listened to more than 100 representatives and, sadly, only a modest few spoke with the elegance and statesmanship of which they are capable. Instead of agreeing that this was a difficult vote because plausible, yet different, interpretations of our Constitution lead to different conclusions, the majority offered hyperbole, partisanship and name calling.

Difficult issues, such as the one they were saddled with, require intellectual debate and a willingness to listen with an open mind to opposing viewpoints. Clearly, each of the congressmen and congresswomen believed strongly in his or her own point of view. A number of them were able to express it in a way that reflected the dignity that their office warrants.

I only wish more could have spoken with passion without depreciating their colleagues across the aisle.

Stephen C. Brown

Baltimore

Will Henry Hyde take cue from outgoing Livingston?

Now that Rep. Robert L. Livingston has removed himself for his transgressions, when can we anticipate that Rep. Henry Hyde will do the same?

Sara Erica Haus

Reisterstown

Country could use another impeachment

It is unfortunate that the Constitution does not have a provision for impeaching the House of Representatives.

Dorian Borsella

Baltimore

With help, disabled can live in their communities

Kudos to The Sun and reporter Ernest F. Imhoff for the article "Getting good care in a happy home" (Dec. 9). Joshua White, the 2-year-old with Freeman-Sheldon syndrome, is lucky to have such a courageous and loving family. With nonprofit agencies such as the Coordinating Center of Millersville, home care is a viable option for people with serious disabilities.

My daughter Laurie was born with cerebral palsy. Although her disability is different than Joshua's, I'm sure the Whites and I have faced the same important decisions. My decision to raise Laurie at home is the best choice I have ever made.

At the age of 23, Laurie is now a happy young woman who contributes to her community. We are involved with a unique nonprofit organization, Maryland-based Supported Employment Enterprise Corp. (SEEC), which believes that their consumers have the right to live and work in their community in the same manner as their nondisabled peers.

Laurie volunteers for the Lupus Foundation of America and attends SEEC's recreational-based, a medical day program that organizes trips to to the movies, restaurants and (her favorite) the mall.

It is important to support organizations such as SEEC because of the valuable services they provide.

Jeffrey B. Springer

Gaithersburg

The writer is a member of the Supported Employment Enterprise Corp. board of directors.

Pay me now for settlement of state's tobacco lawsuit

I would like my cut of the tobacco settlement before Gov. Parris N. Glendening and Peter G. Angelos lose it in their coffers.

George Pfeiffer

Bel Air

Schools must complement, not compete against, UMCP

Your editorial ("Higher education in turmoil -- III," Dec. 15) concerning higher education in Maryland reads like a press release from the various schools.

Towson University and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County are not underfunded. They are not unfairly restricted, either. They are regional state schools whose primary mission is to provide higher education for students from the Baltimore area. Their funding problems come from trying to compete with University of Maryland, College Park rather than complement it. The governing boards, I am sure, recognize this.

If one of these campuses disappeared tomorrow it would have very little effect on regional development. It would, at worst, be a geographical inconvenience to some area students.

If you eliminated half of the out-of-state students, you could reduce capital and operating budgets.

The Baltimore-Washington area has more than its fair share of first-class public and private colleges and universities. Towson and UMBC do not need to reinvent the wheel.

George F. Derr

Timonium

Next mayor should harness services and agencies better

I hope Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke's successor will engage the experience, knowledge and energy of her or his twofold constituency: those whose circumstances are so desperate that they cannot find ways to escape the city and those who, like myself, have enough resources to escape but are still holding to a tattered faith in the potential of Baltimore.

To bolster both groups, the next mayor should harness city services and agencies to citizen-directed programs to upgrade the quality of life in all of our neighborhoods.

At the same time, the new leader should bring us all together to act on behalf of public schools.

How promising it would be to find a mayor who understands that school reform as practiced is chimerical. As teacher-author Herbert Kohl has observed, such reform tries "to fit the child to the system," and no system meets the needs of all children.

Our new mayor has got to find a way, borrowing again from Mr. Kohl: to "help teachers, students and communities build education that works for [us]."

To be successful in these ways, the next mayor of Baltimore City will have to rely heavily on the common sense of the electorate and remain ever-wary of the clever strategies of would-be king-makers.

Jo Ann O. Robinson

Baltimore

Pub Date: 12/23/98

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